Afognak Island
Frequently Asked Questions

Q. "Do I need to get permission from the landowners before I begin my trip?"

A. Yes, if you plan to cross, enter, or use private land. Where you intend to begin and end your trip, as well as the length of time you want to spend in a particular area, will determine what land use permits are required. There are public use easements available at various locations on the island for anyone to use, but they are limited in number, and there are restrictions on uses.

Q. "What type of restrictions are there on the use of these easements?"

A. The easements exist only to provide access across privately owned lands to reach public lands or major waterways. No hunting or fishing from or on an easement is permitted. There are two types of easements: site easements (marked as a triangle on the map and described as a campsite), and trail easements (marked with bold dashed lines on the map). Site easements may be used for temporary (up to 24 hrs) camping, loading, or unloading; and vehicular parking, including boats and aircraft where appropriate. Trail easements are either 25 feet wide, 50 feet wide or a 60 feet road. The 25-foot wide trail may be used for travel by foot, dogsled, animals, snowmobiles, two and three-wheel vehicles, and small all-terrain vehicles under 3,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight. Uses allowed on a 50-foot trail easement are travel by foot, dogsled, animals, snow machines, two and three-wheel vehicles, small and large all-terrain vehicles, track vehicles, and four-wheel drive vehicles. Uses allowed on a 60-foot wide road easement are travel by foot, dogsled, animals, snow machines, two and three-wheel vehicles, small and large all-terrain vehicles, track vehicles, four-wheel drive vehicles, automobiles and trucks. Camping is not allowed on trail easements.

Q. "How do I find these easements?"

A. Easements shown on the Afognak Land Status and Access Map are described in the Easement Descriptions section. Each easement should be identified by a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) marker, unless the marker has been destroyed. If a marker is not present, easements may be found by the use of landmarks such as islands, stream mouths, etc., or the presence of well worn trails and other signs of use. It is your responsibility to make sure you are located on the easement. For additional information on the location of easements, you may contact the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Land, or the Kodiak Island Borough.

Q. "How often can I use the same easement?"

A. There is no explicit restriction on the number of times an easement may be used. However, the reservation of easements was designed to allow for the logical progression of travelers from one location to the next.

Q. "Do I need a land use permit or permission for crossing or using private lands?"

A. Yes, a permit or prior permission from the owner or the owner's designee is required anytime the visitor wishes to enter, cross or use private land, except at designated easements. Use of private land, including travel across the land without obtaining prior permission, may be trespass.

Q. "Whom do I contact for a land use permit for private lands?"

A. The Afognak Land Status and Public Access Map enables you to determine the appropriate land owner. Some landowners, such as Afognak Native Corporation, issue permits for recreational use of their lands. There are different types of permits depending on the use or activity. For current information on the uses permitted and the cost of a permit, contact landowners at the addresses listed below:

Afognak Joint Venture
P.O. Box 1277
Kodiak, Alaska 99615
(907) 486-6014
Howard Valley, Land Manager

Afognak Native Corporation
P.O. Box 1277
Kodiak, Alaska 99615
(907) 486-6014
Howard Valley, Land Manager
Natives of Kodiak, Inc.
215 Mission Rd., Suite 201
Kodiak, Alaska 99615
(907) 486-3606
Tony Drabek

Ouzinkie Native Corporation
P.O. Box 89
Ouzinkie, Alaska 99644
(907) 680-2208
Mike O'Connor, President

Q. "May I travel by boat or canoe on the water without obtaining a land use permit?"

A. Yes. Under state law, the public has the right to use and have access to the water column of streams and lakes. The water column is available for public use for the purpose of fishing, boating, and other activities. However, any overnight camping or use of the uplands for any purpose, except at designated public use easements, requires the permission of the upland owner. Under state law, members of the public may touch the bed of the river below ordinary high water to the extent reasonably necessary to pull a boat across riffles or across obstructions, and to fish.

Q. "May I stand in a river (below the Ordinary High Water Mark) without getting a land use permit?"

A. This is currently an open question. Because disputed claims over ownership of submerged lands currently exist in Kodiak and other areas, the state cannot assure the public that a private owner would not pursue a trespass action against them if they stand in a river without a permit.

Q. "Whom do I contact if I am planning on visiting Shuyak Island?"

A. Shuyak Island State Park comprises most of the island's 47,000 acres and is managed as an Alaska State Park. The state park has regulations that pertain to Shuyak Island, so be sure to contact them for a complete listing before you depart.

Alaska State Parks, Kodiak District Office
1400 Abercrombie Drive
Kodiak, Alaska 99615 phone (907) 486-6339
Wayne Biessel